Are we about to see history in the making?
Quite possibly. Irish jockey Nina Carberry may have competed in the Grand National four times already, but this year she is determined to be the first woman to win at Aintree. Given that she is the most experienced of the female riders competing this year, Carberry is the favourite to give the men a run for their money when she mounts horse First Lieutenant today.
Didn’t she just win a race at Aintree?
Oh, you mean the Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase this week, where Carberry rode On The Fringe, the first horse to win both the Aintree and the Cheltenham hunter chases in the same season since 1993? Why yes, as a matter of fact she did.
Have I heard the name Carberry before?
Most definitely. Carberry is the daughter of Grand National winner and champion National Hunt jockey Tommy Carberry, and her brother Paul won the Grand National in 1999. The 30-year-old is also the sister-in-law of jockey Katie Walsh, who became the third female jockey to win the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday. Three years ago Walsh made the record-books herself when she became the highest-placed female rider at the Grand National, coming third on horse Seabass. So yes, it is a bit of a family affair.
But not everyone wants Carberry to take the glory…
One person who won’t be backing Carberry is the Very Reverend Dean Jonathan Greener, who is taking a punt on a piously named horse ‘Godsmejudge’ in the hopes of raising funds for his church. The Cathedral in Wakefield, Yorkshire, has a leaky roof that needs fixing, and the Rev is putting his faith in the outcome of a £50 charity bet each way.